More Questions on Lott and Barr but Few Answers

By Stanley Crouch
New York Daily News
From: News and Views | Opinion |
Wednesday, December 30, 1998

Somewhere in the material of the Council of Conservative Citizens the statement is made that one should be a Nazi – but never use the word.

That seems to be the approach the CCC is taking now that more and more light is being cast on its white supremacist doctrine, its vision of Negroes as "monkeys," its belief there was no such thing as the Holocaust and so on.

This exposure would not be happening if some of us in the media hadn't focused on the fact that Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) have associated with the CCC. In this paper and in The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, in Molly Ivins' syndicated column and on Pacifica Radio, the heat has been turned up.

The question that is beginning to spread is one that I believe I first raised in this column: Why is there less coverage of this story – which has real political import – than of sex, lies, soiled dresses and Hustler magazine?

What appears before us now is clear: Neo-Confederates with a disguised racial policy have risen to the top of the GOP.

But this rise is something that has to remain under wraps, because in the era of Michael Jordan, one cannot just come out and be a hard-core racist. That would be impolitic. Be a Nazi, but never use the word. That is why Lott and Barr have repudiated the CCC's philosophy. That is why the CCC denies its own identity and, in the words of its CEO, Gene Lee Baum, says that it is primarily a conservative organization focused on the rights and culture of Euro-Americans.

The material on this organization keeps stacking up, however, and the claims Lott and Barr have made about not knowing what the CCC is about don't really hold water.

Lott has spoken to the organization a number of times, has written a column for its publication and, according to his uncle, has had ties to it for a long time. In 1992, he praised the CCC for its philosophy. In 1997, CCC leaders met with the Mississippi senator in his Washington office.

In June, when Barr appeared as the keynote speaker at a CCC meeting in South Carolina, the atmosphere was clearly that of a racist organization. There was plenty of material on sale about "Nordic" superiority and black inferiority, plus revisionist Holocaust documents and pro-Confederacy tracts about "the lost cause." Barr, supposedly, didn't notice any of it.

This is part of something that has recently taken place in our society. The racist of old would come right out and call an insulting name at those who raised his paranoia. But these guys are cagier. Or more cowardly.

Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League says it this way: "I get more racist and anti-Semitic mail with names and return addresses these days than ever. That's one side; these people are not afraid of being known for what they are. On the other hand, there is a very sophisticated kind of bigot among us who doesn't want to be stopped along the way by his opinions. This one wants power. He is far more dangerous."

Could this be true of Lott and Barr?

I've called Lott's office to get his statement on these matters and left messages but have not heard back. Barr's office immediately faxed me the congressman's letter of attack on the CCC and his repudiation of its racial philosophy.

Not good enough. Let's have pointed questions asked by reporters not only of Lott and Barr, but powerful Republicans such as Reps. Henry Hyde, Dick Armey and Tom DeLay. Then we will find out just what this party is made of.

© Copyright 1998 Daily News, L.P.